Strengthen connectivity with ASEAN countries: Governor

ITANAGAR, Nov 23: Governor of Arunachal Pradesh, Dr B D Mishra emphasised on strengthening both air and road connectivity with ASEAN countries for boosting the socio-economic development of the region during the meeting of Governors of North Eastern States at New Delhi on Thursday.
Convened by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, the meeting was held to have views of the NE states for the India-ASEAN Special Commemorative Summit, which will be held on 25th January, 2018 in New Delhi, where leaders of all 10 ASEAN countries are expected to attend.
Enhancing connectivity between ASEAN and India is the major thrust of India’s Act East Policy. Connectivity in the form of road, rail, maritime, as well as air links is indispensable in achieving increased cooperation in trade, investment and strengthening people-to-people contact between nations.
Better connectivity would lower the goods transportation costs and increase reliability of supply chain, the Governor said and highlighted that the air connectivity is an important mode of transportation to carry tourist, businessmen, high-value fragile goods and perishable commodities.
Referring to the Stillwell Road, which goes through the eastern district of Changlang to Myanmar, the Governor said that the Act East Policy through the Stilwell road would reinforce cross border trade in Arunachal Pradesh.
“The people living across the international boundaries of India and Myanmar have common cultural ties and it would act as catalyst for cross border trade”.
He pointed out that Nampong Land Custom Station, notified since 1951 remains largely non-functional and the border trade is limited to informal channels.
The Central Government is considering all possible means to start the formal trade by renovating the Nampong Land Customs Station. In the event of such formal border trade, there would be surge in both imports and exports, and as a consequence, it would strengthen the pace for cross border collaboration involving both hardware and software resources for the benefit of all the stakeholders in the region.
Highlighting on cultural affiliation, floriculture (Orchids) and organic products of the state, he pointed that the state of Arunachal Pradesh could immensely benefit if there is greater cooperation in these sectors.
Underscoring the agreement for international academic exchange and collaboration for innovation and capacity building between MAEJO University, Chiang Mai, Thailand and Arunachal University of Studies, Namsai, Arunachal Pradesh, the Governor suggested for more cooperation in the field of education, student exchange programmes and tourism.